Trekking in the Himalayas is NOT a walk in the park. having done it, its probably one of the hardest things you will ever do. a few things need to be considered, and if you have a PT like me, then you need to be sure you communicate to them exactly what is involved.
1. very important - STAMINA - need to make sure you have the fitness to walk for up to 7-8 hrs a day. even more on summit day - from the itinerary summit day is shown as a 12-14hr trek. that's tough and when you add in the high altitude, which can play havoc with your body - the ability to do that without collapsing is key.
2. STRENGTH - upper body, core and back - you are carrying a rucksack for the hours you are trekking and the heaviest item in your pack is probably going to be your 2l water bottle / pack. that weighs a bloody ton. yes, you drink it on the way, but after lunch you will need to fill it up again - the higher you go the more water you need to constantly be drinking to keep off the effects of altitude sickness (will talk about that later).
3. ATTITUDE- very important I feel. the correct mental attitude can make the difference between you reaching your goal or giving up. if you think you cannot do it, then guess what? you will find a reason (or excuses) to give up and head back.
I think, the best way to overcome that is during the training - there are going to be days when I will not want to train, but I know that discipline and a great mental outlook is what will help when I am 6000m up a mountain. if I can train my attitude at the training stage then that is something I can take with me up the mountain.
I mentioned altitude sickness - its a definite on this trek, especially as we will be at 6000m. now, everyone is different, and some folk are lucky that they never get it.
I know that I suffer from it at 4500m. that is my limit before altitude sickness kicks in and its the most horrible feeling in the world - nausea, dizziness, severe headache, shortness of breath. just a yucky feeling where you lose your appetite and cannot sleep.
A bit controversial for some folk, but ever since I found out my altitude sickness limit was 4500m, I make sure I take Diamox with me. its a drug, which I have found has helped me. it doesn't completely get rid of the yucky feeling, but it allows me to sleep and for the sickness to not be too severe. not everyone wants to do that, but I personally will be taking it with me again.
Taking all of the above into account I started preparing yesterday evening, when I met up with Claire Louise Hill, last night at 7pm. Claire is my PT based at the littlehampton wave, and in charge of making sure I am summit ready come October 2020.
I need a training plan otherwise I can kiss the summit goodbye. I not only need it for strength and stamina, but also to make sure I do not lose my mental focus, which in turn, I hope helps with the post natal depression. exercise is supposed to help!
Back to Claire, yes, well, she definitely knows what she is talking about, even though I tried to fool her by starting with lower weights.
"I think that's too easy - you can up it more" is going to be her mantra I feel. and boy, did she push me - that was just the induction!
It seems I am fitter than what I thought (whoo hoo!!) and I thoroughly enjoyed our session and look forward to more. I have been given a training plan, which I am going to follow and mix it up with some long distance hikes around the area.
Came home yesterday feeling great - am struggling to move today, as muscles I did not know existed were worked - but its just the beginning!
"A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step" said Lao-tzu and in my case a summit of over six thousand metres begins with lots of muscle aches!